uid

When I opposed Aadhaar in 2010 , I was called a BJP stooge. In 2016 I am still opposing Aadhaar for the same reasons and I am told I am a Congress die hard. No one wants to see why I oppose Aadhaar as it is too difficult. Plus Aadhaar is FREE so why not get one ? Ram Krishnaswamy

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mahatma Gandhi

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place. Mahatma Gandhi

“The invasion of privacy is of no consequence because privacy is not a fundamental right and has no meaning under Article 21. The right to privacy is not a guaranteed under the constitution, because privacy is not a fundamental right.” Article 21 of the Indian constitution refers to the right to life and liberty -Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi

“There is merit in the complaints. You are unwittingly allowing snooping, harassment and commercial exploitation. The information about an individual obtained by the UIDAI while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of criminal investigation.” -A three judge bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said in an interim order.

Legal scholar Usha Ramanathan describes UID as an inverse of sunshine laws like the Right to Information. While the RTI makes the state transparent to the citizen, the UID does the inverse: it makes the citizen transparent to the state, she says.

Good idea gone bad
I have written earlier that UID/Aadhaar was a poorly designed, unreliable and expensive solution to the really good idea of providing national identification for over a billion Indians. My petition contends that UID in its current form violates the right to privacy of a citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. This is because sensitive biometric and demographic information of citizens are with enrolment agencies, registrars and sub-registrars who have no legal liability for any misuse of this data. This petition has opened up the larger discussion on privacy rights for Indians. The current Article 21 interpretation by the Supreme Court was done decades ago, before the advent of internet and today’s technology and all the new privacy challenges that have arisen as a consequence.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP Rajya Sabha

“What is Aadhaar? There is enormous confusion. That Aadhaar will identify people who are entitled for subsidy. No. Aadhaar doesn’t determine who is eligible and who isn’t,” Jairam Ramesh

But Aadhaar has been mythologised during the previous government by its creators into some technology super force that will transform governance in a miraculous manner. I even read an article recently that compared Aadhaar to some revolution and quoted a 1930s historian, Will Durant. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP

“I know you will say that it is not mandatory. But, it is compulsorily mandatorily voluntary,” Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Saba April 2017.

August 24, 2017: The nine-judge Constitution Bench rules that right to privacy is “intrinsic to life and liberty” and is inherently protected under the various fundamental freedoms enshrined under Part III of the Indian Constitution

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World; indeed it's the only thing that ever has"

“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” - Edward Snowden

Special

Here is what the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance, which examined the draft N I A Bill said.

1. There is no feasibility study of the project]

2. The project was approved in haste

3. The system has far-reaching consequences for national security

4. The project is directionless with no clarity of purpose

5. It is built on unreliable and untested technology

6. The exercise becomes futile in case the project does not continue beyond the present number of 200 million enrolments

7. There is lack of coordination and difference of views between various departments and ministries of government on the project

Quotes

What was said before the elections:

NPR & UID aiding Aliens – Narendra Modi

"I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote," Senior BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha, Sept 2012

"All we have to show for the hundreds of thousands of crore spent on Aadhar is a Congress ticket for Nilekani" Yashwant Sinha.(27/02/2014)

TV Mohandas Pai, former chief financial officer and head of human resources, tweeted: "selling his soul for power; made his money in the company wedded to meritocracy." Money Life Article

Nilekani’s reporting structure is unprecedented in history; he reports directly to the Prime Minister, thus bypassing all checks and balances in government - Home Minister Chidambaram

To refer to Aadhaar as an anti corruption tool despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is mystifying. That it is now officially a Rs.50,000 Crores solution searching for an explanation is also without any doubt. -- Statement by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP & Member, Standing Committee on Finance

Finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement, in an exit interview to this newspaper, that Aadhaar needs to be re-thought completely is probably the last nail in its coffin. :-) Financial Express

The Rural Development Ministry headed by Jairam Ramesh created a road Block and refused to make Aadhaar mandatory for making wage payment to people enrolled under the world’s largest social security scheme NRGA unless all residents are covered.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

9525 - Govt. hopes to pass Bankruptcy, GST Bills

NEW DELHI, March 14, 2016

Govt. hopes to pass Bankruptcy, GST Bills
PTI
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and IMF MD Christine Lagarde on the concluding day of the Advancing Asia Conference in New Delhi on Sunday.

Legislation will give a fillip to reforms process: Jaitley.

The National Democratic Alliance government hopes to press the accelerator on reforms and pass the landmark Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill for a national Goods and Services Tax (GST) and a separate bill for Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code, 2015, in the second half of the Budget session beginning April 20, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Sunday.

The current session of Parliament has already seen the passage of one landmark legislation two days ago, Mr. Jaitley said, referring to the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies and Services) Bill, 2016.

The legislation meant to provide statutory backing to the unique identification number was passed last week.

“I do hope to see another two being passed in the second part of the session with regard to the bankruptcy and insolvency laws and GST,” he said, addressing the Advancing Asia Conference.

The passage of the GST and the bankruptcy and insolvency laws, he said, would give a major fillip to India’s reform process.
“We are trying to have special emphasis now both in terms of legislative changes and resources being put to strengthen the banking system… next few months, in bringing about structural change, are going to be extremely important.”

Mr. Jaitley said that the constituency within India supporting reforms is much bigger than its opponents. He also said that exhibiting determination to move on the reforms path, India can provide a significant amount of growth to the world.

There is a broad national consensus that the Indian economy be strengthened further so that it can attract more foreign capital, he said.

The GST Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha but is stuck in the Upper House, where the ruling NDA does not have a majority and is dependent on the support of the Congress for its passage. The Constitution amendment Bill needs two-third majority or 162 votes in the 242-member Rajya Sabha. The Congress, the original author of the GST reform, has refused to support the Constitution amendment Bill in its present form.
After it clears the Rajya Sabha, the legislation will have to be ratified by at least half of the 29 States. Also speaking at the Conference, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that the world had lots to learn from India’s Aadhaar initiative that would affect revenue generation in a big way.


Ms. Lagarde also told reporters she didn’t see much of a downside from the global economy to India’s growth rate since the country has a “solid” growth model, a growing population, scale of market and was pursuing reforms. India, she said, has been the prime net beneficiary from low oil prices and had done well to prepare for the spill-over effects of asymmetric monetary policies of central banks across the world. She also said that an IMF team recently analysed the Central Statistics Office’s new series for GDP estimates and found that it conforms to the international standards. International commentators have termed these growth estimates over-optimistic.